Nokia 6 (2018) is a new Android One edition smartphone from the company, with an upgraded processor and design compared to last year’s Nokia 6. HMD Global, the start-up behind Nokia phones, launched the Nokia 6 (2018) this week in India along with the Nokia 7 plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco. Nokia 6 (2018) is the most budget friendly option in the list with a price of Rs 16,999.
The Nokia 7 plus has a price of Rs 25,999, while Nokia 8 Sirocco is the most expensive of the lot with a price tag of Rs 49,999. We’ve had a chance to use the Nokia 6 (2018) for the last two days, and here’s our first impression of the smartphone. So is Nokia 6 (2018) worth the fuss? Here’s what stood out for us and what did not.
Nokia 6 (2018) First Impressions: Top features that stand out
Design of the Nokia 6 (2018) is certainly the most impressive part about this phone. Yes, Rs 16,999 might seem on the higher because comparisons will inevitably be made to the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the Honor 9 Lite, etc. But, Nokia 6 (2018) sports a very impressive design and looks much more premium compared to its rivals. The phone is made from Series 6000 aluminium, and the black and copper review unit we have is stylish. The copper trimmings on the side, around the camera module, volume and power button as well as the fingerprint scanner are done in a subtle and elegant manner.
If your budget is around Rs 15,000 or plus, the Nokia 6 (2018) is the most stylish phone in this price range. It feels solid to hold, the phone is light and can be easily used with one hand. Design is one space where HMD Global and Nokia hold an edge, especially in the budget segment.
The other highlight of the Nokia 6 (2018) has to be the display. Yes, the phone does not have the latest 18:9 aspect ratio display, but the 5.5-inch full HD LCD IPS display is certainly worth its price. Videos on the phone appear crisp, colour reproduction is accurate and it works well even in bright sunlight. Even with 50 per cent brightness levels, the Nokia 6 (2018)’s display looks vivid and stands out.
The other big highlight of the Nokia 6 (2018) has to be the stock Android UI. The lack of bloatware will appeal to folks who do not like heavily customised UIs. I lean towards plain vanilla Android, though this is not to say all custom UIs are bad and bring nothing of value. Nokia 6 also comes with Android One certification, which means it will get regular security updates from Android and be upgraded to the next two versions of the OS for sure. This would mean Android P and Android Q when they are rolled out in future. Another plus with Nokia 6 (2018) is that is already running on Android 8.0.0 out-of-the-box, while there are some new phones launching in the market, still on Android Nougat.
When it comes to performance, Nokia 6 (2018) has not given us any cause for trouble or complaints so far. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor clocked at 2.2Ghz, with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. The processor and RAM means it should be good enough for daily usage, and we have not noticed any performance issues. However, we will have more details in our review.
The battery performance on Nokia 6 (2018) looks promising and should easily last a day. Again we will have more on this in our review, but it should last 10-12 hours with heavy to regular usage. In our case, we’ve not had to put the phone on charge since it was set-up, but then usage has not been so extensive. The phone comes with a Type-C USB port for charging, which is also good to see.
Camera on the Nokia 6 (2018) is quite impressive, especially in this price bracket where most phones are unable to deliver. Colours like pinks are handled quite well by the Nokia 6’s camera, and some photos, which were taken indoors at night have enough details in them. For the price, the camera does the job well. The colours are vivid, without appearing overtly saturated or washed out, which is good to see.
Nokia 6 (2018): What could be better
First, the Nokia 6’s lack of a taller 18:9 aspect ratio display will be an issue. Most phones in 2018 are launching with such an aspect ratio. Nokia 6 appears to miss out on the trend, which is disappointing. Users might see prefer other devices which offer this kind of display, some of which are available at lower prices than the new Nokia 6. And yes, there are plenty of options in the market, including Redmi 5, Redmi Note 5, Honor 9 Lite, etc.
Nokia 6 (2018) is also skipping on the trend of dual-rear cameras. The front camera is 8MP, but does not seem so impressive for now and there’s a noticeable shutter lag in some instances, as we saw during our use case. For users who want to try ‘Portrait mode’, Nokia 6 does not offer that option, which is again disappointing. Still Nokia 6 has a camera that performs well for its price.
The phone also comes in with only 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant, which will be disappointing. In a market like India, most players tend to launch their budget phones in various configurations, each at a different price point. For consumers in India, there are plenty of phones offering 4GB RAM/64GB storage version under Rs 12,999 and might seem better value-for-money options. HMD Global misses out on a big opportunity by sticking with just one version for now.